Become a Cop >> Browse Articles >> So You Wanna Be a Cop...


5 Rules For Future Cops

5 Rules For Future Cops

Andrew G. Hawkes

Growing up, I would always stand in awe and stare every time I saw a police officer. Whether at the mall with my parents, or seeing a squad car driving down the road, Police officers were my heroes. That dark blue uniform, with that shiny badge glistening in the sunlight displayed authority to me, it portrayed the “good guys”, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.

20 years has now passed since I first pinned on my badge, and I can tell you that I have met several young people that had the same hopes and dreams that I had as a youngster. But, unfortunately, some of them have made poor decisions in their late teen and early 20’s years that have made it difficult for them to fulfill their dream of becoming a cop.

No one says you have to wear a halo or be perfect to be a cop, but there are some things that may hinder you in your quest to become a law enforcement officer. Below are 5 tips to help you stay the course, especially in your post high school and college years.

1. Alcohol and Drugs

If they are illegal, don’t do them, period. Resist any temptation from peers. If you are at a party or in a social setting where there is a potential to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then leave. This “Can I Be a Cop If…” questionnaire might be of help if you have concerns.

2. Try to work towards a college degree

Most states require police officers to be 21 years of age. If you decide in high school that you want to become a police officer, you have three years to wait anyway, you should be getting as many college credits as you can while you wait.

3. Keep your credit score in good shape

It is hard to resist credit card offers, especially in today’s economy when money is tight, but do not get yourself in debt that you simply cannot repay. This will destroy your credit score and your application. Police agencies will see this as irresponsible. If you cannot manage your own affairs it makes it hard for a police department to trust you with theirs.

Next Page: Is your online reputation
going to catch up with you?

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.